Talking about fountains I am herewith attaching a few pictures from Oxford Valley Mall, Langhorne, PA, which I managed in the mid-seventies for Kravco. Oxford Valley had more fountains than any other malls I ever worked in. As beautiful and plentiful as these were, it was difficult and extremely costly in keeping those operating in pristine running condition. Especially the lighting and pump mechanics. But we did it and our shoppers loved them.
The most unusual thing we did was featuring a huge exterior fountain at our main mall entrance. The largest one at the mall. Something I have never seen since with any other mall to do so. As times went on, fountains however very noticeably started to disappear in the malls.
SIMON actually had a policy to demolish any existing fountains and use the space for income producing retail shopping carts and or kiosks. Fountains were usually located in prime mall locations, like center courts or feature areas, so that space was seen as extremely valuable and easy to "grab" extra cash for the mall owners.
Looking back I don't think that we as mall developers (or the particular companies whom I worked for) ever realized how much the public loved our fountains and how important they were for a more complete shopping experience.
Summertime. Almost looks like a inviting swimming pool to me!
In the summertime parents brought their young kids to the mall
to splash and cool-off in the outside fountain. No problem with us!
The John Wanamaker Eagle fountain.
Shoppers would say: "Let's meet at the Eagle."
A fountain pool island underneath a circular walkway to the upper Oxford Valley Mall level. This particular walkway was much preferred by the Mom's with kids and carriages instead of the escalators. Elevators were hard to find and usually only located in the Department stores.
A fountain pool totally wrapped around two escalators. Such
a design was very unique and not seen in very many malls.
In 1975 we collected the pennies, dimes and quartets in 5-gallon buckets
and for an average annual total of $14,000 plus. This most certainly was proof
that our shoppers loved our fountains. It took several dedicated 8-foot long
tables to dry and clean all of the coins and then a mechanical coin-counter, sorter and
sleever for the bank to receive them. It became a true charities dream.
FYI: An early 1985 picture of the Eastwood Mall in Niles outside Youngstown, OH. Fountains were big at the time and the picture clearly shows that developers could never have enough fountains in their malls. Actually seating was encouraged at the pool-rims here thus the low-slung design. No benches can be seen in the picture. The developer was the Cafaro Company and at the time a major competitor with DeBartolo.
These are so amazing! We need a website or community committed to preserving mall fountains. Heck, I want to go through all of Sal's Exlog videos just to document the fountains and artwork in the malls he visits.